August 4th, 2012
By Ritchie Totten -- In a remarkable finish to an epic Olympic career,
MIchael Phelps became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time -- with 22 medals total -- 18 of them golds. In garnering his 22 medals, Phelps passed gymnast Larisa Latynina as the most decorated Olympic athlete in the last five decades.
Phelps' goal right from the start of his Olympic career was to put swimming on the map and on the lips and in the homes of athletes all over America and the world.
“I wanted to change the sport and take it to another level,” Phelps said. Well, he got that done. Or as George W. Bush once famously said: "Mission accomplished."
On Saturday, Phelps followed Matt Grevers and Brendan Hansen in the medley relay, and 50.73 seconds later, he gave the anchor, Nathan Adrian, a lead that Adrian turned into a runaway victory over Japan and Australia.
Thank you, Michael Phelps, for a job well done. You have changed the standards and the habits of Olympic athletes the world over -- and for that -- we salute you.